The Thinner, The Winner

It all started when I was in high school. I was not, in any way, one of the popular kids. I could have just exercised. I could have eaten better. I could have done about a thousand things differently, I suppose. But I was a kid, and in all honesty, (because we’re among friends, right?) I was immature, irresponsible, and unhealthy. Annnnnd corndogs are the shit.

I took the word of my mother, who said that the bright pink XXL mickey mouse t-shirt looked great on me, and hid all that pesky chub, so “nobody would even notice! Mickey’s cool!! Huge t-shirts make you look skinny!!” I didn’t wear makeup. I didn’t wear hip-hugger jeans. I didn’t dye my hair. I didn’t understand how to relate to people my own age. I had very few friends. I didn’t EVER have a boyfriend either. By the time I was 16, I was throttling my turn to drugs and alcohol to celebrate my self-pity party of fat girl problems.

People have REAL problems in this world. Children die of cancer every. damned. second. Wives are losing husbands, kids losing moms… Animals are going extinct. The world is dying…. but in the moment, up my own ass and ignorant of everything around me, I felt like it was the biggest hardship a woman like myself could face. Being overweight is constantly assumed a choice, and people always think terrible things like, “how did they let themselves get that big?” Sometimes it’s not a choice. It’s not something you wake up one morning and decide, “Hey, you know what, I don’t really give a fuck, I’ll just be 300 lbs, cuz… cheesecake.” I’ll admit, sometimes that might actually be the case. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. Bad genes. Bad choices… I truly believed it was a curse that I would probably never escape. My mom was overweight, it was all her fault! There was no chance in hell I would EVER be thin. And my momma LOVED to cook. All kinds of comfort food in our house. She was all about potatoes. We ate potatoes every fucking meal of the day. Ughhhh the STARCH!!

Then came all the talk about Bulimia and Anorexia. I had no idea what those things were until I was smack dab in the middle of my own teen aged hell. There was tons of awareness… big posters, commercials, ad campaigns…

*It can kill you!*

*You could have a heart attack!!*

*It’ll make your hair turn grey!!*

****REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES****

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.
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Oh, go fuck yourself.

If you think it’s perfectly awesome to be fat, let’s trade!! You take the fat, I’ll take those skinny jeans.

Yeah, didn’t think so.

So one day, after a perfectly legitimate lunch comprised of a tomato sandwich and french fries from the kitchen of the restaurant I worked at (potatoes, potatoes, POTATOES!!!!), I was on the verge of tears, sitting in the bathroom by myself it hit me. If I throw it all up, it’s like I never ate it, but I’ll still have gotten to enjoy eating it. So I did it. I stuck my finger down my throat, and tossed it up. It wasn’t difficult. It’s really the easiest thing in the world, like pressing a button that says, “Skinnier, please!”

I went back and forth with it for a while. It wasn’t really working, and that was really discouraging. I couldn’t even be bulimic right. So I stopped altogether sometime right before I finished high school. I tried eating more healthy foods, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. And my mother wasn’t exactly supportive… she wasn’t… un-supportive… but when somebody constantly asks you if you’d like another baked potato, or some box mac’n’cheese, with that “mom smile”, it’s not exactly encouraging that healthy diet you are trying to stay on. Plus, like most 16-18 year olds, I lived at home. If i didn’t want to buy it and prepare it myself, I ate what was cooked for me. I could have been more proactive, absolutely. I paid my own car insurance, gas, etc., I had a job that paid $7.25 an hour, so I could have done some things with that. But what teenager do YOU know that’s going to take on extra responsibility all by themselves with no promise of a reward?? And of course this was in the days of “Put these drops on your tongue and you’ll lose weight!!” It was crack. And crap. A lot of synthetic tree.. bean… oil… stuff that was supposed to be MIRACULOUS at helping to lose weight. My mom was ALLLLLL about those drops. They were supposed to suppress your appetite… which sounds SUPER healthy too. “This chemical makes you not want to eat!! FAAAAABULOUS!!”

A few months went by and back into my life came the corndogs, the potatoes, the cheeeeesecake! The deep fried chicken patty sandwiches. Wendy’s. Taco Bell. OLIVE GARDEN… You get the picture, right? I ate vegetables, SURE!! Canned green beans SMOTHERED in butter, canned fruit DRIPPING in sugar syrup, maraschino cherries… that’s a fruit, right? Right.. Then I had my son. I was so incredibly picky about what he ate. I rarely gave him processed foods, no frozen chicken nuggets for my boy, only organic, pan toasted, lightly floured chicken breasts with little to no salt, steamed veggies, fresh fruits, healthy amounts of dairy, nuts, legumes… I was kind of an asshole about it. But as far as my diet went? I ate what I wanted to eat. I ate crap.

Then I got sick, and I just couldn’t kick it. I went to a couple of doctors, they really didn’t tell me shit. Couldn’t figure out what it was. They all said relatively the same thing, “Drink more water, get more exercise, sleep more…” That. Did. NOTHING. I kept throwing up. Every morning it would start, and it would go on all day. I missed work, appointments… housework came to
a complete halt. And then I realized what was also happening… I was losing weight! For the first time in my life, I dropped 10 lbs… then 20, 30… then 40…. I was the incredible shrinking woman, and I was on a roll. I didn’t want to get better, I wanted to stay sick. So that’s exactly what I did. A few weeks turned into a few months… People I had known for years were asking me if I was “Ok”… did I have cancer? Damn I looked good, new diet? Nope. Just barfing it all up!! Of
course I NEVER said that, but that’s the truth. I would binge eat allthethings, then toss it, and the weight just kept peeling off. Sometimes I felt tired, but I was actually amazed at how easy it was. It just… worked. I bought and fit into a size 6 jeans. That, to me, was monumental. I posted it to my facebook page. I was proud of myself… for being bulimic.

After dropping almost 50 lbs, I made a deal with myself to slowly stop all this nonsense. I told myself I would NEVER let myself get that big again, and I would only ever eat healthy foods so I could keep this new skinny body I wore (that felt like an alien skin to me). But, that’s not what happened. I put all the weight right back on. I spent a year barfing my brains out, in secret, only to ruin it all with more junk food. My habits never changed, why did I think anything would be
different once I stopped?

I accepted the fact that I would not be skinny unless I pursued the bulimic life, but I didn’t want that life, I left it behind me. It was dangerous. It was stupid. Did I really care that much about being skinny that I would risk my life?! I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t lie to myself, and everybody else. And I didn’t want anybody to find out, lest they send me to some funky fucking rehab I couldn’t afford or care less about… And there was a man. I loved him. He was my friend, and I wanted it to be real, no lies. So I got a little fat again. Oh well, I was fat, but I was happy.

So the years have gone by, and I have not purged with the intent to lose weight since then. I think about it though, I always talk myself out of it but, I think about it. Maybe I could just eat healthier, or exercise more… yeah yeah yeah… So there’s no fluffy ending here. The only fluffiness is my muffin top. I’ll rock it. I eat actual vegetables now, but I still weight more than the average bear. I just don’t care anymore. I’ve had three kids, give me a fucking break, I am NO Heidi Klum… that bitch. I’d love to fit into those skinny size 6 jeans again, they are still hanging in my closet… but… fuck it. There’s cheesecake.

Any Minute Now…

I used to sing. No, scratch that, I used to LOVE to sing…

I remember when I was little, like 4 or 5, I would make up my own songs and walk around singing them EVERYWHERE, much to the annoyance of my mother who, for years, told me to shut the hell up. I totally understand though, I was probably obnoxious as hell, singing about… walking. Singing about school, and grocery stores. Shoes. Macaroni. Dinosaurs. It was probably cute the first 40 times, and then after that…. Well, after that I probably should have shut the hell up.

But, you guessed it… I didn’t. My aunt even has some video of it… somewhere, luckily not on the internet. I loved singing to the radio in the car. I can belt out a mean Trisha Yearwood, or Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, even throw in some Bad Company, Credence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Leann Rimes, Led Zeppelin, TLC… I never really cared what genre of music it was. I was always very open minded about music. I could sing a song beginning to end after hearing it only a couple of times. And every friend I ever had, I tried to start a “band” with. It wasn’t always my idea, but I went with it 100% of the time. There was never once a single instrument involved. We’d work really hard on the name of whatever group, and then never write any music, just expect to be allowed to cover hits… I guess? I really don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I would have literally DIED to go on Star Search, or American Idol. I even filled out the paperwork once, but I never went to the auditions. We lived in a small town in southwestern Colorado… I would have had to drive a minimum of 8 hours… no matter which direction I went…. over rough mountain passes, to make it to an audition. That was not going to happen with my $7.25 an hour video store paychecks. So I just kind of let that dream die.

Then, when the booze came and made me think I was cool, I started really getting into playing guitar. It didn’t last very long, and it was probably only brought on by years of teenage angst, depression from my home situation.. blah blah blah… uhhh I think, honestly, it was a little about guys, and doing everything I could to not just be the “fat girl”. At least if you play guitar, there’s SOMETHING else to describe you with. Oh yeah,… it may have also had to do with some low self esteem… that may or may not still linger around here somewhere…….

But I kept my dream alive, in my head, in my living room, on my guitar, in notebooks I am still finding to this day, Like a notebook specifically purchased to write songs in, that had maybe 4 pages written on, some of it illegible, a lot of it just… terrible. That is always awesome, being embarrassed of something you don’t even remember writing, because at 14 you REALLY know love. And how to write a love song… baahhhahaha! And I honestly used to think that eventually I would somehow sing for a living. I entered contests, made a cd… yeah, I put like $400 into my “career”, and hoped for the best. I reached out to local musicians, played venues like the VFW, and the American Legion…. I was truly living the rock and roll dream. Opening for Eric Diamond and his Honky Tonk Band. But I could have totally, at the drop of a hat, AT ANY MOMENT…. Just receive a call from SOMEBODY… and be gone on tour and become a full blown rock star… Any minute now!! That’s really what I kept telling myself. Seriously. Yeah, I know…

I was a “Featured Artist” on several of my friend’s rap songs. YES. Rap. And one spoken word/rap. No, I was not into rap even slightly, ever…  but I thought, “this is exposure, this will get your voice out there! This will be the catalyst!! Yes, this one! This is going to do it!!”  which over the years morphed into, “ahhhhhh, alright… but I’m going to need another shot first.”  It’s on the internet now, for everyone to hear. And it’s embarrassing…. And no, I am not going to share it. Just…..No. Because I wasn’t… and am currently… not. that. good. And you have to be REALLY GOOD… like Adele good, to get anywhere. I love singing to Adele. But I am NO Adele. Yes, it bums me out. Yes, I wish I looked like Taylor Swift, because I would CRUSH Taylor Swift if I looked like…. her…. dammit. And that’s the struggle. It’s super real. But I got to the point where I just couldn’t help but laugh at myself, and cringe a little. I would just hope nobody could hear me.. and I had reaaaaaaaally bad stage fright. If you can’t stop shaking when you’re up there, your voice doesn’t exactly… do…. what it can do. Booze only helped so much, and probably hurt more than it helped… So that happened.

Unfortunately, and obviously, I never became a rock star. I had kids, I moved, I spent my money on food and diapers. Then some random shit happened. Then some other shit happened. I guess I wasn’t as devoted as I thought to getting my career up and running and being all famous and arrogant and entitled, and most of all… rich. Bummer. I could use about a million right about now. Couldn’t we all? And I would really love to meet people like Bill Murray, and Jennifer Lawrence. But… I probably won’t. What a buzzkill!

I do still think about it. And I still sing. In the kitchen, and of course in the shower, in the car… Whenever nobody can hear me.  And I still, very quietly in the back of my mind, tell myself… “Any minute now…….”